2012 NFL Mock Draft Round Up: Green Bay Packers Looking Defense

Fletcher Cox might be a pick the Packers consider on draft day

Once a week I post an updated 2012 N.F.L. mock draft and we usually have at least one other mock draft from another writer a week here at nflmocks, but every now and then I like to look outside our little community and see what draftniks around the web are thinking about for certain teams. The team I’m going to take a look at today is the Green Bay Packers, and one common theme emerged in all of the 2012 N.F.L. mock drafts around the web: the Packers are looking at defense.

Seahawks Draft Blog (packers are picking 32nd)

Pick: DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State

Explanation:

He plays a bit like a runaway train. He’s unbalanced but moves well for a big guy. He looks ideal for the 5-technique position.

The Big Lead
(Packers are picking 32nd)

Pick: Chase Minnefield CB, Virginia

Explanation:

Secondary is the only flaw, right?

Sportingnews Russ Lande:

(Packers are picking 32nd)

Selection: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Explanation:

The line must improve if the Packers’ defense is to return to the level it reached in 2010. Cox played defensive tackle in college, but would be an explosive, playmaking end in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme.

Jon Dove Bleacherreport

(Packers picking 31st)
 
Selection: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
 
Explanation:
 
The Green Bay Packers defense has taken a step back this season and is nowhere near the unit we saw in last year’s Super Bowl. One of the biggest concerns has been a drop in production by Clay Matthews.This drop has a lot to do with the added attention and double-teams.

Adding a top-notch pass rusher like Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus will help draw attention away from Matthews and increase the Packers’ pass rush. Mercilus doesn’t have a set position, but he has the ability and quickness to transition to outside linebacker.

It’s a lot to ask Matthews to duplicate last season’s production, which means next year, the defense is going to have to make improvements.

Final Thoughts:

This is just a smattering of the hundres of mock drafts you can find on the web (none of course as good as NFLmocks!, just messing of course), but I think it’s silly to completely rule out an offensive pick. There are a a few areas the Green Bay Packers could improve on offense. First the LT position might still need a future replacement. Chad Clifton is getting old and from what the Packers have shown you with Derek Sherrod is that they may be more comftorable with him as a guard, if that’s not the case than OT won’t be a problem, but if Sherrod is seen as a future guard player than LT is a much bigger need than you’re being led to believe.

Secondly, the running back corps of the Packers isn’t great, James Starks didn’t take quite the step forward the Packers might have been looking for this year and Ryan Grant is approaching the twilight of his career, besides that if the Packers are picking 32nd running back may present the biggest value there if they really value a player like Virginia Tech’s David Wilson.

I think defense is more likely, but not a forgone conclussion.

Secondly, of the picks here my least favorite is Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus is a try hard player who gets a lot done because he has terrific hustle, he is however, a more limited athlete and I think a transition to the 34 OLB position would be a huge mistake, the player value at 32 isn’t terrible, but moving Mercilus to the outside linebacker position could be a problem.

What are you thinking Packers fans?

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